A youth group which called itself the Amalgamated Oro Youth Force in Oron, Awka Ibom State, has laid serious allegation bordering on alleged immoral conduct and financial impropriety against the Rector of Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron, Joshua Okpo.
In a letter dated August 3, 2015 titled ‘FINANCIAL MISAPPROPRIATION, FRAUD, SEX SCANDAL AND ABUSE OF OFFICE IN THE MARITIME ACADEMY OF NIGERIA, ORON’, the group accused Okpo of spending N8billion over the past four years “without nothing to show for such a huge amount of money.”
The group’s petition was signed by its President, Francis Otioro and Secretary, Victor Eyo.
The Amalgamated Oro Youth Force, which kicked against Okpo’s tenure renewal gave him one week to resign from the academy.
The letter reads in part: “We the above named group, wish to bring to your notice the following observation by us:
(a) The nefarious activities of you Mr. Joshua Okpo the Rector Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom State.
(b) That sometimes last year you the Rector in company of the following directors of the Academy Mr. Mkpandiok, Mr. Okona, Mr. Okorie, Mrs. Ikara and Capt. Balogun travelled to Sweden under the pretence that you want to affiliate Maritime Academy of Nigeria Oron with the world Maritime University Malmo, Sweden.
(c) That in Malmo Sweden you, Mr Joshua Okpo was asked whether there was basic safety training courses such as Standard of Training, Certification & Watch keeping (STCW) and Quality Control Unit (QCU) facilities in place in Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron. And you deliberately denied that there were no such facilities in the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron. Whereas those facilities had been in the academy since in the days of Engr. Olu Akinsoji and Mr. Nse Ebong both former rectors of the institution. None of your Directors debunk your lies, except Capt. Balogun.
(d) Just last year 2014, you Mr. Joshua Okpo withdrew the sum of Nine Million Naira (N9,000,000) to one of your many girlfriends to organize a Christmas festival, whereas staff claim were yet to be paid for nearly three (3) months.
(e) That you Mr. Joshua Okpo invited nearly Nine Thousand Five Hundred (9,500) intending students for exams and collected Ten Thousand Naira (N10,000) each for exams fee that amounted to nearly Ninety Five Million Naira (N95,000,000) and later shortlisted Six Thousand students (6,000) and collected Twenty Thousand Naira (N20,000) each for medical fees that amounted to about one hundred and twenty million naira (N120,000,000). The questions to begging for answer is, what have you Mr. Joshua Okpo done with this money?
(f) That you Mr. Joshua Okpo withdrew another sixteen million naira (N16,000,000) for an award ceremony of Ambassador of Peace at Calabar. A situation that economic pundit had asked about the rationale behind such careless spending of the Academy fund.
(g) That you Mr. Joshua Okpo had collected more that eight Chieftaincy titles with each of them causing the Academy more than five million naira (N5,000,000).
(h) That for four (4) years now you Mr. Joshua Okpo have collected more than eight billion naira (N8,000,000,000) of the Academy fund without nothing to show for such a huge amount of money.
(i) That you Mr. Joshua Okpo had abandoned the house that your immediate predecessor was living and decided to be coming from Uyo in a convoy of five to ten vehicle with seven as the Governor of the Maritime State.
(j) That you are a crook of the worst order that you have made life unbearable for both students and parents of the Maritime Academy by introducing non accredited courses like Hydrology, Meteorology and Electrical/Electronic into the Maritime School System in which students graduate without results.
(k) That you appointed your wife Mrs. Ado Ansa as your special assistant and assign her duties of awarding minor contract which was previously handled by the office of the registrar. This is unheard of in the public service.
(l) That the marriage between you and Mr. Joshua Okpo and former Mrs. Ado Ansa has caused the Academy a lot of setbacks. Mrs Ado Ansa is your special assistant, exam officer and faculty officer who encourages extortion of money from the unintelligent students.
(m) Just recently you Mr. Joshua Okpo had spent sixteen million naira (N16,000,000) on one of your girl friend to influence the so called “Buhari Boys” at Abuja. Name withheld for days of reckoning.
(n) That you employed more than 250 staff into the Academy on daily basis without due process. No vacancy was advertised in any of the National dailies and there was never any interview. Most of your relation employed wrote their application letters for employment the day they came for their appointment letters.
(o) Mr. Joshua Okpo you are a graduate of Higher National Diploma (HND) in Journalism, please can you tell the whole world what you are doing in a science oriented institution? You are suppressing the process of Maritime Academy turning to a degree awarding institution and a university.
(p) That you Mr. Joshua Okpo was sent to help the Academy bid in turning to a University that instead of you helping the Academy achieve its standard that you are playing politics and sponsoring warring factions in our community to truncate the arrangement of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron becoming a degree awarding institution and a university.
(q) Mr. Joshua Okpo what are you doing in the University of Port Harcourt and are you not comfortable with Engr. Ishodu PHD that you spent Maritime fund to secure? Yes, you have employed many of your petitioner and your agents into services of Maritime academy of Nigeria, what are their qualifications? What are the qualifications of your own people and your wife Ado Ansa? Why didn’t you send the likes of Victor Matthew and your other agents into university of Port Harcourt so that they can live above Ordinary National Diploma (OND) level of over seventeen years.”
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